Those present will be able to see the NHS’s George Cross, which the late Queen awarded to the health service for the work staff did during the Covid-19 pandemic and throughout its history.
In one of the last public engagements before her death last year, the Queen bestowed the medal on the NHS at a ceremony at Windsor Castle.
Health service leaders from across the four nations have attended the ceremony, with nurse May Parsons, who delivered the first Covid-19 vaccine outside of a clinical trial.
Ms Parsons carried the medal into the Abbey in a procession which included Kyle Dean-Curtis, 17, St John Ambulance cadet of the year, who wants to work in the NHS, and Enid Richmond, 91, who was one of the first people to work in the NHS, as a member of the junior clerical staff.
Sophie, Duchess of Edinburgh, attending a service at Westminster Abbey to mark 75 years of the NHS
The Duchess arriving in a classy pale pink, floral dress and nude heels for the event
Prince Edward leading the way as they arrive for the service on Wednesday morning
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak arrives at the NHS anniversary ceremony
BBC sport presenter Adele Roberts is in attendance – she has previously said that she owes the NHS her life following cancer surgery
A general view at the NHS anniversary ceremony – more than 1500 are present
Nurse May Parsons in the procession at the start of the service, carrying the George Cross which the late Queen Elizabeth II awarded to the NHS for services during Covid
The George Cross which was presented to the National Health Service
Nurse May Parsons, who delivered the first Covid-19 vaccine outside of a clinical trial, appears emotional at the ceremony
The Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh are marking the special anniversary
Sophie, Duchess of Sussex is at the service marking the incredible work of the NHS
NHS England boss Amanda Pritchard has delivered an address to the congregation – and Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and Leader of the Labour Party Keir Starmer were also among the speakers.
There will be prayers and testimonies from high-profile health leaders including Health Secretary Steve Barclay, NHS England’s chief nurse Dame Ruth May, NHS England’s national medical director Professor Sir Stephen Powis and Ellie Orton, chief executive of NHS Charities Together.
Those who have shown bravery on the frontline have been invited, including Richard Webb-Stevens, a paramedic who was first on the scene of the Westminster Bridge terror attack, and Dr Martin English and Dr Michael Griksaitis, NHS consultants who jointly led a team which brought 21 Ukrainian children with cancer from Poland to the UK in March 2022, following the Russian invasion.
Mr Barclay said: ‘As we mark this milestone, we can be so proud of everything the NHS has achieved over the last 75 years.
‘From its foundation in the aftermath of the Second World War, to the world’s first test tube baby and administering the first Covid vaccine – the NHS is an institution that deserves its title as a national treasure.
‘I want to thank all the staff who have ever worked in the NHS, from the doctors and nurses, caring for our loved ones, to the cleaners and porters keeping our hospitals in order, and our social care workers, paramedics, physiotherapists and many more who do an outstanding job, each and every day.’
Prince Edward and Sophie will be joined by 1,500 health service staff, politicians and supporters of the NHS
The service is being held at Westminster Abbey, central London
Their Royal highnesses will be joined by senior government and political representatives
Up to 1,500 health service staff will rub shoulders with the royals
Amanda Pritchard, Chief Executive of NHS England
Britain’s main opposition Labour Party leader Keir Starmer (L) speaks to Amanda Pritchard, Chief Executive of NHS England (R)
Adele Roberts (right) attends the NHS anniversary ceremony at Westminster Abbey
Dr Zoe Williams attends the service on July 5 – pictured arriving at the Abbey
Guests at the NHS anniversary ceremony which as part of the health service’s 75th anniversary celebrations
Those who have shown bravery on the frontline have also been invited
NHS staff are seen at the ceremony on Wednesday
The Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh as the service is underway
Dame Elizabeth Anionwu speaking at the NHS anniversary ceremony at Westminster Abbey
The Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh listening to the speakers
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak paying tribute to the NHS
Doctors Zoe Williams and Hilary Jones are marking the special day
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak speaking at the NHS anniversary ceremony
British Labour Party leader Sir Keir Starmer has also spoken at the event
Prince Edward and Sophie following the ceremony programme
Nurse May Parsons in the procession at the start of the service, carrying the George Cross which the late Queen Elizabeth II awarded to the NHS
Guests listening as Rishi Sunak delivers a speech
Steve Barclay said: ‘As we mark this milestone, we can be so proud of everything the NHS has achieved over the last 75 years’
Sophie, Duchess of Edinburgh, pays her respects to the NHS
A view of the hundreds who are attending the event
As well as the service, there are countless events and special moments over the next week which everyone can get involved with
Today, the NHS celebrates 75 years
Dame Ruth added: ‘The NHS has truly been built upon the millions of hardworking NHS staff and volunteers who have shaped its course over the last three quarters of a century, constantly innovating and adapting to the new challenges they have faced – most recently the Covid-19 pandemic that has affected all our lives – to care for generation after generation, and it will be a fantastic honour to celebrate our health service’s 75th birthday and thank each of those incredible staff and volunteers at Westminster Abbey.
‘As well as the service, there are countless events and special moments over the next week which everyone can get involved with, whether it be local parkrun events or the lighting up of over 150 landmark sites across the country, with many opportunities to not only look back on all that the NHS has achieved but also to look ahead to what new opportunities and innovations we can grasp in our next 75 years.’
The day of celebration will see scores of buildings across the country, from Nottingham Castle to the Houses of Parliament and the London Eye, and Liverpool’s Liver building, lit up in the NHS’s trademark blue.
A number of celebrities will join the celebrations, including award-winning actor Tom Hardy, who will read Zog And The Flying Doctors on CBeebies Bedtime Stories on the night of the birthday.
Commons Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle paid tribute to NHS staff as Prime Minister’s Questions started in the House of Commons.
He added: ‘Of course, the National Health Service Act is a reminder of the vital role of this House in creating and debating legislation as part of a democratic process.
‘So I say to previous MPs, thank you for what you did. We will not forget.’
Sophie, Duchess of Edinburgh shakes hands with Amanda Pritchard, Chief Executive of NHS England (R)
Ellie Orton, Chief Executive of NHS Charities Together speaking at the NHS anniversary ceremony
Former NHS England chief executive Lord Simon Stevens, and Geordie Greig, editor-in-chief of The Independent
Guests at the NHS anniversary ceremony at Westminster Abbey
A guest looks at the George Cross which was presented to the National Health Service
A range of people are joining Prince Edward and Sophie this morning
The Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh smiling as they entered the church
The members of the royal family being welcomed at the Abbey
Wednesday marks 75 years since the NHS was founded
The Dean of Westminster, David Hoyle speaks during the NHS anniversary ceremony
British artist Charlie Mackesy has created a special NHS75 illustration to be released on the anniversary, and a collectable 50p coin has been released by the Royal Mint.
Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge celebrated by welcoming a new surgical robot after a £1.5 million fundraising campaign by Addenbrooke’s Charitable Trust.
The King and Queen toured the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh on Tuesday, with Camilla joking with patients that she is the same age as the NHS.
In Wales, health minister Eluned Morgan attended the naming of a Great Western Railway train after the founder of the NHS, Aneurin Bevan, at Newport Station.
The Northern Ireland Confederation for Health and Social Care is hosting an event at Parliament Buildings, Stormont, on Wednesday.
Park Run and Junior Park Run events across the UK at the weekend will also be dedicated to the service.
The Prince and Princess of Wales were the surprise guests of honour at a tea party marking the NHS’s 75th anniversary.
William and Kate, both 41, arrived early for the NHS Big Tea party to help lay the tables, put the finishing touches to a birthday cake and even try their hand at piping icing on cup cakes.
The event at St Thomas’ Hospital in London was hosted by NHS Charities Together – of which William and Kate are Patrons – and television presenter Mel Giedroyc, who previously presented the Great British Bake Off. The party was attended by people representing the incredible achievements of the NHS over the past 75 years.